Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Sydney Road


One Sydney Road is a lovely little boutique with a excellent selection of well-curated goods, both new and vintage, for you and your home.

As we are still in the throws of winter, head on over for some mood-lifting window shopping and pick something up to give you a little lift in your step.  

Here are a few of my picks... 
P.S. Piper, the shop owner, has a lovely little blog as well. Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine's Postcard Printable

Recently, I made these postcards to surprise my friends with in the mail for Valentine's Day.  It's no secret that real mail is a lost art anymore, am I right or am I right?  

I altered a stenciled heart doily in Photoshop to give it a pink mosaic look; I love how the doily looks like a face. It does right, I'm not just seeing things???

 *I've been secretly trying to discover new things to make with doilies...I'd really like to make some doily t-shirts like this fabulous one.* 

Then, I printed it out at 4"x6" on regular card stock, cut it out with a paper cutter, and rounded the edges.  It's a little bigger than standard postcard size, but it works.

Here's the postcard with "Happy Valentine's Day!" and without for your own sweet words.  Just click, print, and mail away!

Now that I've finished my simple Valentine's, I've got to get started on the kiddos.  I'm so excited because we are using balloons and glitter! I think I've figured out something that a 2.5-year-old can actually participate in!  We'll see how they turn out...don't worry, I'll be sure to share them here!

Sharing with...
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home
Tute {Yourself} Tuesday at Little Eme
We did it! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado

Matchbook Magazine

 Have you seen the new online read, Matchbook Magazine, yet? It just launched this month and it's lovely! I've already read through once and I'm working on my second glance.  I love the interviews, tid-bits, photos and ideas.  Mmmm...eye candy. 

Here's what they say...
"Launched in January 2011, Matchbook is an online lifestyle publication celebrating classics - shaken and stirred. Our monthly issues cover past and present fashion, decor, the arts, travel and culture. Brimming with intriguing interviews, stately homes, captivating memoirs and swoon-worthy fashion spreads, matchbook seeks to inspire women around the globe to design a life they adore. From lipstick to letterpress, gelato to grosgrain, and Paris to Peru, consider us your field guide to a charmed life."

There is a great article with on the talent behind Marais shoes.  I love Haley Boyd's style and mindset behind her business. 

Now, go kill some time and check it out!

P.S. If you need some more online magazines to read, check out this post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tortellini Soup

 It's been soup season here at Maison 30girl.

This is definitely one of my top 5 favorite soups.  It's belly-warming, satisfying, yet light.  Plus, it's quick and easy to make.  Here's my recipe.

Tortellini Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2lb-1lb Italian Chicken Sausage (amount depends on your meat preference....I use about 3/4lb), de-cased
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
5 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried oregano and basil
1/4 tsp powdered garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 16 oz bag cheese tortellini
1/2 bag fresh spinach 
freshly grated Parmesan

1. Saute onion and sausage in 1tssp extra virgin olive oil on medium heat.  When meet is thoroughly browned, add garlic and saute one minute more. 
2. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and spices, bring to boil. 
3. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. 
4. Reduce heat to low, stir in spinach until wilted.
6. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crusty bread.


Sharing with...
Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee-Craft Edition 
Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades of Green

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Birdhouse for Grandma

 What do you do with your toddler when it snows?  First play in the snow like crazy. Then, paint rocks, make a paint chip wreath, have dance parties and paint a bird house for Grandma.  Although we had approximately 10" of snow last night, the kiddo and I made this birdhouse in a previous mere 4" snowfall.  

We took a trip to the local Joann and I gave the kiddo free reign to pick out one $1 wooden "figure" to paint and decoupage for Grandma.  He picked the heart birdhouse...little does he know that Grandma does not like birds.  

We took it home and mixed some red and pearlized white paint to make a nice deep fuchsia.  Then, my little guy got right to town painting his bird house.  Honestly, I only pitched in to cover the "missed spots", but he tried to be very thorough.  After it dried, he picked out the striped paper for the roof and we used a little Mod Podge.  Then, he helped me trace the stencils for the XOXO (notice the pencil lines).  I ended up painting the letters; since, we have quite reached the ability to "stay inside the lines". 

  I'm so proud of my little crafter and his thoughtfulness. 

What do you do with the kiddos when the weather is less than stellar?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great Day St. Louis: Paint Chip Wreaths and Sweater Bottle Cozies

Tomorrow morning I will be back on Great Day St. Louis (and if you are visiting from Great Day, "Welcome!") sharing the "how-to" for making this paint chip wreath and these wine bottle sweater covers.  These two crafts are quick, easy, cute and virtually free! They're perfect for Valentine's Day decor or for anytime of the year! 
If you're local, tune in to KMOV at 10am or check it out online
P.S. Tomorrow is my official 1-year anniversary on Great Day!!! Thanks to all the wonderful people at GDSTL for keeping as a regular guest and making my segments something I look forward to each month!

A Wine Bottle Sweater Cozy

 I believe I saw this idea in a winter 2010 issue of Country Living if my memory serves me right.  During a recent trip to Good Will in search of a variety of non-essential things, I stumbled upon some sale sweaters for $1.50.  When I discovered this pretty pink one, I immediately thought of the sweater cozy idea as a quick and inexpensive way to make a little "Valentine" mantel decor.  You could, of course, use a sweater of any color that suites your fancy.  I think these covered bottles would look great in a vignette of different shapes, sizes and with sweaters in similar colorways.  I think I need to get to work on that. 

Here's a brief tutorial for making a Wine Bottle Sweater Cozy. 
1. First you need a empty and clean wine bottle.  For this project, you wouldn't even need to remove the label since it is covered up!
2. Pull one sleeve of your sweater over the top of the wine bottle.
3. Then, cut off the sleeve at the top of the bottle.
4 and 5. Next, you need to gather the sweater at the top of the bottle and cut the extra material.  Pull the extra material into a triangle and cut along side the bottle. When the fabric is removed, you will have a V-shaped gap. 
6. Stitch the gap together so that the cover fits snugly around the curves of the bottle. Don't worry about making perfect stitches as you can see mine are haphazardly placed...I just put that side toward the wall!

That's it.  Quick. Easy. Cheap and Cute.

P.S. Here's another way I dress up wine bottles.

Sharing with...
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog
Trash to Treasure at Sassy Sites
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Penny Pinching at The Thrifty Home

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I can honestly say that during the cold months, I make at least one large pot of soup a week.  A good soup is satisfying and filling, plus, you can use your favorite vegetables, proteins, and spices to make it your own. Click here and here for a couple of other soups I like to make.

Recently, I was inspired by this recipe to make Chicken Tortilla Soup; it was my first ever attempt at this soup.  It turned out so great, albeit a bit spicy, that I've been yearning for another bowl ever since I ate my last spoonful!

Here's my recipe:
1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 green pepper and 3 jalapenos, roasted (skins removed and chopped)
4-5 corn tortillas
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 28oz can whole tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent, add the garlic and saute one minute more.  Add the tomatoes and their juice; cook 2 minutes over medium heat. 
2. Add broth, peppers, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (or add to your taste).  Bring to a boil; then, reduce heat and simmer.
3. Crumble in the toritillas.  Then, puree about 60-70% of the soup in a food processor or use an immersion blender.  Return soup to pot.
4. Add shredded chicken and simmer approximately 20 minutes. 
5. Serve with fresh fried corn tortilla strips, avocado slices, sour cream and shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese. Enjoy!
Any soups on re-run at your house lately?

Sharing with...
Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades of Green
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

Paint Chip Wreath: Shades of a Valentine

On Tuesday, the unexpected snow delay forced the kiddo and I to come up with some creative ways to spend our day.  We passed a bit of time by making this 100% free wreath from cardboard and Martha Stewart for Home Depot paint chips.  I really like the colorways in this line and the paint chips are a perfect size for cutting 2" circles. 

How we made this is super-straightforward.  

First, I collected 1 paint chip for every shade of pink-red in the Martha Stewart paint (don't be too greedy on the paint don't want to alert the Home Depot folks to your crafting ambitions *wink-wink*).  Then, we cut 2 2" circles from each paint chip and ended up with 2 circles per shade.  Next, I cut a wreath shape from a piece of scrap cardboard; I used a decorative bowl to trace the outer circle and a pot lid for the inner circle.  Now, it was only a matter of adhering (we used some kid-friendly Elmer's) the circles to the cardboard; I overlapped the circles in "rows" of two and arranged them by shade.  Lastly, I punched a small whole at the top of the wreath and pulled through some red satin ribbon in order to attach my new wreath to the wreath-hanger on the front door.  
Easy-peasy and it actually really looks good from the street.  It's bright and festive!
I have been inspired by so many crafter's/blogger's paint chip projects to make one of my own.  Paint chips are such great options for emphasizing hue, shade, tint and/or tone.

Sharing with...
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Strut You Stuff at Somewhat Simple
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge
Weekend Wrap Up at Tatertots and Jello
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's in the bag...

Hello and welcome to the It's in the bag blog crawl organized by Ashley from A Hasty Life

This is what is in my bag as of right now....seriously. 
Pretty standard stuff, huh? Makeup...I definitely recommend the organically derived products from Physicians Formula.  Anti-bacterial wipes and gel...I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe, plus I have a 2.5 year old boy. Keys...standard. Self-made headband...just in case. from my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas, a welcomed upgrade from my previous credit card holder wallet. Toddler socks...just in case. Pens and Advil. 

This The Sak bag is what I'm carrying's great for travel because the straps and rings allow the bag to adjust from large to small to clutch quickly and easily.  Plus, the copper color is super versatile.  Lastly, I've become addicted to hands-free carrying.

Thanks for taking a look inside my bag tonight, and thanks to Ashley for organizing us to all share our treasured possessions! Visit Sydney at her lovely blog, The Daybook, and check out what's in her bag!

P.S. The winner of the $50 J.Crew giftcard was #66, Helen from Helen's Corner. Congrats!  Thank you so much to all who entered and for all the wonderful well-wishes on my blog-a-versary!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you like my hat?

Well, I made it through the snow and arrived safely in Chicago today.  Even after getting up at 3:30a, I still managed to make a quick stop at Anthropologie after know because I could sans child.  I even managed to make it out of the store having spent $0...that may be a first. 
I enjoyed wondering the streets all bundled up.  You know, I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I miss the snow and brisk cold in Chicago.

Here's what I was wearing under the coat...

Coat: Tulle
Hat and Wool Scarf: Gifts from Itatly
Silk Scarf: Talbots
Cardigan: Gap
Turtleneck Sweater and Skirt: Banana Republic
Tights: Hue
Boots: Steve Madden

P.S. I just got a hair cut and chopped off four inches...I think I look more 31.5, ugh, but that's a good thing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Delay...

Alas, I had planned to leave the afternoon for my monthly work trip, but it seems the weather had other plans for me. 

Instead, I spent the day watching the snow fall with the kiddo; isn't it awe-inspiring how all kids love the snow, even before they understand the concept of "snow days".  We didn't make it out of pajamas until after noon, we drank hot chocolate, watched Madagascar 2, and made a fun craft with cardboard and paint chips that I can't wait to share with you. 

The snow was a welcomed unexpected surprise.  Last night I was dreading the impending snow as it was sure to ruin my travel plans, but today I embraced it and took advantage of some snuggle time before my trip.  The down side is that I'm now leaving at 4am tomorrow morning...ugh.  Luckily, I have a 5 hour drive to prepare myself for working in the office.

Wish me luck as tomorrow I'm giving an important presentation that has been in preparation for one year and Thursday I'm presenting front of 200 people for 2.5  hours.  I hope they like the sound of my voice. 

I'll be back tomorrow to share some of the exciting things "we've" been working on as of late.

Enjoy the calm of the snow, if you have some...and don't forget to enter to win the $50 J.Crew gift card, the giveaway ends tomorrow night!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Basic French Online

I recently discovered this little shop that I'm so completely enamored with I keep going back for more. If visiting France is not on your agenda at the moment, you can bring a bit of France to you from Basic French

For your home...

Beautiful Pitcher...I'd love to be pouring flavored water from here everyday.
Antiqued Silver Glass...aren't these cute?
Make your home, linens and clothes smell like the French countryside with this linen water.

For the kiddos...
Oh how my little guy needs to carry these Babar Suitcases. 

while wearing this shirt.

and these Little Brown Bear books to help us improve our French.

For you...
I definitely need this dress and, of course, the kiddo and I will wear our Mariniere stripes together.

I would wear these Bensimons in forest with my dress...

while carrying this lovely toile de jouy umbrella.

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